Chrysler, the former unloved brand of General Motors, is heading towards an electric future under new owners Stellantis. Chrysler was merged into the Stellantis Group, an umbrella brand of Peugeot, Citroen, and Fiat Chrysler in 2021. Chrysler exited the UK and European markets in 2017 due to plummeting sales. Today the brand’s existence in North America comprises of three aging model lineups. The nearly 100-year-old company has changed ownership on a number of occasions during its history and has faced bankruptcy on at least two separate occasions.
Sales have fluctuated wildly, the company’s best trading year was 2005 when it amassed over 600K volume sales. Since then its been a steady decline followed by a sharp rise then a dramatic decline. Pre-pandemic sales totaled 126K units in 2019, followed by 110K units in 2020. So what is wrong with Chrylser? The aging model line up, which indicates a lack of investment.
However Chrysler’s new owners have a new vision, they want to take the all-American brand and turn it into an all-electric car company. Stellantis provided a glimpse of this new vision in the run-up to the CES show in Las Vegas. The Chrysler Airflow is a pure electric car concept driven by two 150 kilowatt electric motors. The estimated range is around 350-400 miles.
The Chrysler Airflow will feature Level 3 Autonomous driving functionality, a system developed in partnership with BMW. The concept will also feature voice-assisted functions, think of it more as a 4-wheel smartphone with doors. However this sleek-looking reveal is concept car fanfare, the production version, if it ever happens, may not look as sleek.
Chrysler has been given a 10-year deadline to make the full transition from combustion to fully-fledged electric car manufacture which will be funded by Stellantis. This time failure is not an option.